This study describes an ethnographic investigation of Communities of Play within Communities of Practice. As professional 'content creators', whose 'work' is 'play', are increasingly interacting with non-professional content consumers, whose 'play' is a kind of 'work', the barriers between 'work' and 'play' are increasingly dissolving. The purpose of this study was to examine the nature and frequency of the professionals' interactions with coworkers in an office and with the content consumers while working from home. Data were collected in the form of gameplay videos uploaded by the professional streamers from January of 2017 to March of 2018, downloaded by the researcher from Youtube.com and Twitch.tv. Interactions were coded according to Streamer environment (Work vs. Home) and type of interaction (Talk Aloud Protocol, Knowledge Exchange, or Noise). Six raters categorized interactions across 88 videos in ten-minute segments. Results indicated an effect of platform dependency between the Community of Practice on YouTube and the Community of Play on Twitch.tv. These differences, in both directionality and effect size, suggest that different 'content creator' behaviors are reinforced, depending on the platform used, and that a strategy that is successful on one platform may not be successful on another. Based off the researcher's experiences, recommendations are made for how future researchers can conduct effective ethnographic investigations for online Communities of Practice and Communities of Play.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Modeling and Simulation
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Oppold, Paul, "Communities of Play and Practice: Collaborating with Audiences and Coworkers in Performative Online Spaces" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 910.